WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration on May 17 issued draft guidance on using the name “potassium chloride salt” as an alternative to “potassium chloride” in the ingredient statement on food labels.
“The flexibility in declaring potassium chloride in the ingredient statement on food labels may help inform consumers of the use of potassium chloride as at least a partial substitute for sodium chloride, thereby leading to the selection of foods with lower sodium content and decreasing the amount of sodium consumed,” the F.D.A. said.
Americans on average consume 3,400 mg of sodium per day, which is more than the limit of 2,300 mg per day recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020.
The draft guidance took into consideration a citizen petition from NuTek Food Science dated June 27, 2016. NuTek Food Science requested that the F.D.A. issue guidance recognizing “potassium salt” as an additional common or usual name for potassium chloride.
The F.D.A. on May 17 responded, “However, ‘potassium salt’ is not a name in common usage for potassium chloride, and we are unaware of evidence that would support a regulation enabling ‘potassium salt’ as the common or usual name.
“In contrast, the name ‘potassium chloride salt’ may signal to consumers that potassium chloride is a substitute for salt. Informing consumers that potassium chloride is a substitute for sodium chloride (salt) could result in consumers selecting food options with less sodium. This, in turn, could encourage industry to continue to reduce sodium levels in processed foods by substituting potassium chloride for some sodium chloride, thereby decreasing overall sodium intake, increasing potassium intake and benefitting public health.”
The F.D.A. will receive public comments on the draft guidance until July 19. Comments may be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov. Written comments may be mailed to Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Submissions must include the Docket No. FDS-2019-D-0892.